Welsh Broadcasting Trust

Filming MA dissertation in Belize

Report by Charlotte Awstwick

Self-shooting an anthropological film in 40 degree heat, with a minimal budget, a language barrier and being eaten alive by red ants whilst trying to hack your way through the jungle with a machete was an interesting experience and a very steep learning curve.
But one I wouldn’t change for the world!
My expedition to create my MA Dissertation film to Belize was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Not only did I self – develop as a filmmaker and discover that I had a natural gift for cinematography, but I also developed as a person. I saw and experienced events that some people can only dream about. I bathed in a crystal clear river and even saw a woman plucking and cleaning a chicken in it.
The actual filmmaking was somewhat complicated. Forgot the ease of working on a drama set with people at your beck and call.
Back in the editing room, I struggled. The software was new to me and although I could see the bigger picture, I had problems with tiny details and wished now that I had paid a professional sound editor to help me out.
My Masters course was a 50/50 spilt between Social Anthropology and Filmmaking.
I managed to successfully fundraise sufficient finance to complete my dissertation via external sources. I am eternally grateful to the Welsh Broadcasting Trust without whom it would not have been possible to complete my fieldwork.
Its donation was the equivalent of some 2021 Belizean dollars, which was more than some of the indigenous population can earn in a year.
So to the Welsh Broadcasting Trust, I say thank you for your support.